36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 186: Quality Education; Opportunity Knocks


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 186 — Quality Education; Opportunity Knocks
04-February-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)


A good day. It seems like events are beginning to pop up which offer good possibilities. All deal with Electronic Music.

(1) Dieter Kaufmann introduced me to a student who has been privately making films. After a short talk, these are the results: If I can produce the results I want with my music, and then have an outlined plan as to what I want filmed, then the possibility of making this film is good. So, from now on I’m going to really try and produce results.

(2) A man came into one of our classes and sat around a while, and then I ended up talking with him. He is making an educational book and wants an example of a
typical sound, and then show how it can be transformed by various means into “concrete” music [musique concrète]. I am also going to try and do this, because it could have good “results” with respect to: (a) pleasing Rotary at home, (b) my educational concern (getting a job) as a future teacher, (c) can be used for my own teaching, (d) would be a good example to show other schools and studios where I might want to study, (e) sounds can be naturally used by myself, and (f) I would have actually made a meaningful contribution to something.

(3) With Prof. Kaufmann and the three or four of us in our class, we are going to try and produce some electronic music for a film that two students have made.

All in all, a lot of work ahead.


Appreciating quality education—Horn. Only yesterday, I mention how I appreciated Prof. Gabler expanding the horn curriculum and making it more interesting by providing all types of activities in addition to simple in-class lessons. For example, sitting besides him in an orchestra pit rehearsal, bringing in outside professors for different teaching methodologies, and placing us in a wide variety of small and large performing ensembles.

Appreciating quality education—Electronic music. Today I give the same appreciation to Prof. Dieter Kaufmann. Prof. Kaufmann has shown us the art, techniques, and practices of musique concrète, electronic music, improvisation, and contemporary music. He has also brought in outside speakers from composers to engineers, and introduced us to concerts of contemporary music, including his own, very exciting Pupofon. Today, in electronic music class, we have another example of this quality education—two real-world projects (a film, and an educational book) that offer us the ability to apply what we learn to a practical end.

Thanks to the Prof. Kaufmann, Prof. Gabler, and all the other wonderful professors that year. Thanks to the Vienna Hochschule für Musik und Dartstellende Kunst in Wien (Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in Vienna) for being the bedrock of this experience.

Opportunity knocks. I do not have to add much to today’s journal entry. There are two opportunities presented to the students of the electronic music class. One is to participate in a film project, and the second is an electronic music project—take a single sound and show how it can be manipulated using the techniques of musique concrète—recording and manipulation of sound using tape recorders, tape splicing, filters, and other manipulation techniques. This second project will take on an immense importance for me in my work for the rest of the semester.


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